Last week, we learned that pending sales of single-family homes were way up in April. One explanation is that the market is beginning to recover. Today, Seattle Bubble uncovered another: the definition of "pending sale" has changed, and the Northwest Multiple Listing Service appears to be using the new definition to make its stats (something it previously said it wasn't doing).
Under the new definition, a sale is considered pending before the inspections are done, whereas before, that sale wouldn't have counted. There are a couple of new categories of pending as well. The changes were made in June 2008, so while the month-to-month jump is legit, the year-over-year one (April '08 to April '09) may not be.